3 Reasons Paris is NOT so Baby Friendly
On our most recent trip to Europe we spent four days exploring Paris. We’ve been to Paris before and we love the city, particularity its delicious food, rich coffee and beautiful architecture. Because of this, we decided to make another trip to Paris while we were in the neighbourhood.
But, what we failed to notice on previous trips was that Paris is not very baby friendly (likely due to the fact that we didn’t have a baby at the time!).
Don’t get us wrong. We’re NOT saying that if you have a baby you shouldn’t go to Paris. Quite the opposite. We think everyone should visit Paris – at least once in their life.
However, if you are planning a trip to Paris with a baby, here are a few things you should know.
1) The Metro is not stroller friendly
The Paris Métro, a.k.a. the Métropolitain, is one of the densest Metro networks in the world. The first time we visited the city, we took the Metro everywhere. It was the most efficient and cost effective way to see the sites.
On this recent trip, we assumed much of the same – we would take Baby B on the Metro. No brainer – right?
Wrong. It didn’t take long to realize it was going to be difficult getting in and out of the stations with our baby stroller. Very few Metro stations had elevators and if they did they were rarely working, so we had to lug the stroller up and down several flights of stairs.
Tip #1: Bring a baby carrier for the Metro – ditch the stroller
The stairs were difficult enough (sometimes 50+ stairs), but the most annoying part of the process was passing through the turn styles. Often they weren’t big enough for a stroller, so we needed to unpack the stroller, fold it up and carry it through. This is no easy task with a squirmy baby and his baby travel gear. And if they did have a turn style big enough to fit a stroller, we needed to be buzzed through by an attendant that clearly hates his job. At one point, Baby B was actually stuck on the opposite side of the turn style – with us on the wrong side and no way to get to him! The whole process was ridiculous.
After the second day, we ditched the stroller and used our Ergo Baby Carrier instead.
2) Most restaurants do not offer high chairs
In North America, it’s common for all restaurants to offer high chairs to families. In Paris, we only managed to find a high chair once. We ate in a number of restaurants in different parts of the city, and each time we asked for a high chair we were told they didn’t have one.
Tip #2: Bring a portable high chair – you’ll need it
Most times we kept Baby B in his stroller, but other times (when we ditched the stroller because we knew we’d be using the Metro) it was extremely handy to have our My Little Seat Infant Travel High Chair. It folds up small, fits in a diaper bag and works on almost all chairs.
It was a life saver in Paris.
3) Hotel rooms are very small – pack light
Traditionally, hotels rooms in Europe are small, at least when compared to North American hotels. But in Paris, they are extremely small. Add a crib to the mix and there is literally no room to move, let alone space for baby to crawl around and stretch his legs.
We spent a long time searching before deciding on our Paris accommodations. We booked a triple room with hopes that it would provide more space for a crib. We did manage to get the crib in the room but just barely! And it took some rearranging to fit our luggage in the room and we had to leave our stroller and car seat in the hallway!
Tip #3: After booking, call the hotel and request a crib and a larger room. Hotels will usually accommodate if they know you’re traveling with an infant.
Paris is a fabulous city, worthy of every European itinerary. But if you are traveling with a baby, make sure you bring a baby carrier, a portable high chair, and try to find a hotel within your budget that offers larger rooms with cribs.
It will certainly take away some of the stress that comes with baby travel.
Have you traveled to Paris with an infant? Do you have any travel tips or advice?
Share your experience and feedback in the comments section below!